NBA Draft a Quiet Night for Bulls
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jun 29, 2005 1:53PM
The NBA held its annual draft last night. In recent years, this was the biggest night of the year for the Bulls. This year, however, even John Paxon and Jerry Reinsdorf probably made other plans.
Because of a trade for Bryce Drew during the Bulls' Dark Ages and last year's trade for Loul Deng, the Bulls were without a pick in the draft for the first time in their 40 year history. Which was probably just as well in this year's weak draft.
Had they kept their first round pick, they'd have picked 21st. Phoenix took Nate Robinson there, then traded him to the Knicks as part of a Quentin Richardson-Kurt Thomas deal. Had Deng -- who made the All Rookie First Team -- remained at Duke another season and entered this year's draft, he likely would have been the first overall pick. So the Bulls effectively got the top player in return for the 21st pick. Not a bad trade-off!
While the Bulls didn't participate in the draft, it wasn't entirely devoid of local interest. The Illini saw two players selected in the first round. Utah traded up to get the 3rd overall pick so they could select Deron Williams, whom they see as the heir apparent to John Stockton. Houston took his Illini teammate Luther Head with the 24th pick. But while Illinois had two first rounders, their NCAA Finals opponent UNC has 4 drafted -- all in the top 14 picks!